LG’s Seung-hyun Baek, who gave up a promising shortstop career to become a pitcher, has solidified himself as a bullpen stalwart in his third year of pitching. This year, he recorded his first save and his first win, and has a one-run ERA.
On the 16th, SSG and LG played at Jamsil Stadium. LG took the mound in the 7th inning with a 7-4 lead. However, Yoo threw eight pitches in a row, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Yoo got Choi Ji-hoon to fly out to center field and was replaced by Baek Seung-hyun.먹튀검증
Seung-hyun Baek struck out the hard-hitting Choi on three pitches with runners on first and second. After inducing a swing and a miss with a slider, he struck out the next batter with a three-pitch high fastball. Heredia walked to load the bases with two outs, but he got Choi to swing and miss with a big slider to end the threat.
LG added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh to extend its lead to 10-4, and Choi came on in relief of Baek Seung-hyun in the eighth. Baek Seung-hyun pitched 0.2 innings of scoreless relief with two strikeouts and one walk.
Coach Yeom Kyung-yup said after the game, “There was a big crisis in the seventh inning, but Baek Seung-hyun handled it well and set the stage for the victory. Through the process of overcoming the crisis, I think Baek Seung-hyun has developed into a player who will grow to the next level.”
Baek Seung-hyun was considered a new face in the bullpen in spring training and pitched two scoreless innings in the opening series against KT, but after throwing a one-hit shutout against Kiwoom on April 6, he was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
After returning to the first team in early June, Baek Seung-hyun recorded a save with two outs against Samsung on June 14. He came on with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning with a 3-2 lead and struck out Kang Min-ho and got Kim Dong-yeop to fly out to shortstop to preserve the win. He dramatically recorded his first professional save in the ninth inning.
In mid-June, he suffered another shoulder injury that kept him out of the first team roster for about a month. Baek Seung-hyun returned to the first team at the end of July and has been serving as the closer. In September, with Ham Deok-ju out of the lineup, the right-hander pitched 5⅓ scoreless innings in six games.
His overall record this season is 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in 30 games (28⅔ innings) with one win, one save, and six holds. This is the second-lowest ERA among league pitchers with 30 or more appearances, behind only LG’s Ham Deok-ju (1.62 ERA).
In addition, he hasn’t allowed a single run to score on 10 pinch runners. He has a 0% run allowed rate. This is the only record among pitchers in the league with 10 or more runners on base.
“Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to go so far in the season,” Yeom praised Baek Seung-hyun, along with Ham Deok-joo, Yoo Young-chan, and Park Myung-geun, referring to the four new members of the bullpen.
Seung-hyun Baek joined the LG in the third round of the 2015 draft (30th overall). A shortstop prospect, he completed his military service early. After completing his military service as a social service worker, he returned to LG in May 2017. Inside LG, Baek Seung-hyun was seen as the successor to Oh Ji-hwan.
However, with Oh boasting the physical strength of a “golden bullet,” it took some patience for him to break into the first team. He played nine games in 2017, five in 2018, and 14 in 2019.
Seung-hyun Paik, who played in the 2020-2021 season of the Australian Professional Baseball League with Geelong Korea, had a brief stint as a pitcher that turned out to be a turning point in his baseball career. In a January 2020 game, he took the mound and threw a fastball over 150 kilometers per hour. At the time, it was an unauthorized 154 kilometers.
At first, he had no intention of pitching. He played shortstop between the first and second teams in the 2020 season, batting 2-for-5 (7-for-28) in 27 games with the first team. Then, midway through the season, he had a change of heart. He asked the team to convert him from a shortstop prospect to a pitcher. The team was reluctant, but he was determined and took on a new challenge as a pitcher.
After learning the basics from scratch as a pitcher, Baek Seung-hyun started pitching in the Futures League in the 2021 season. On June 5, 2021, he made his first-team debut as a pitcher against the Gwangju KIA. His performance was impressive. His fastball was up to 153 kilometers.
He appeared in 16 games (16⅔ innings) in the 2021 season, posting a 1.16 ERA in 16 appearances, showing promise as a pitcher. He underwent season-ending surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow and struggled last year, going 1-0 with a 10.80 ERA in 12 games (10 innings). This year, Baek Seung-hyun, who caught the eye of manager Yoon Kyung-yeop in spring training, has established himself as a must-win pitcher in his third year.